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10/27/2010
12:43 PM
Michele Warren
Michele Warren
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Google Rounds Out Product Trio With Boost

First there was Google Places, which let businesses list themselves for all the web to see. Then there was Tags, which allowed users to expand those listings with coupons, photos, videos, etc. Now Google has announced the beta of Boost, an online advertising solution targeting small businesses.

First there was Google Places, which let businesses list themselves for all the web to see. Then there was Tags, which allowed users to expand those listings with coupons, photos, videos, etc. Now Google has announced the beta of Boost, an online advertising solution targeting small businesses.Starting this week, companies in Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco have the opportunity to try out Boost and see how they like it. The product, which enables business owners to create online search ads from their Google Places accounts, requires no ongoing maintenance or management once it's been set up. Basic ads include a company's name, address, and contact info, but users can give their advertisements some extra zing by adding, say, a link to their Google Places page or the number of reviews their business has gotten.

"Google Boost is our way of addressing simple, straightforward online advertising," says Chikai Ohazama, director of product management at Google. "You don't have to be a sophisticated technology person to use it. This is a 'set it and forget it' type of solution."

Setting up an ad with Google Boost is as easy as providing the name of your business and a brief description, plus a Web or Places page, the category into which your business falls (Restaurant, for example), and a monthly budget. Google Boost does keyword selection and provides basic performance data so that a business can see how its ad is doing. Users pay only when somebody clicks on their ad.

"With this beta, our goal is to work out any of the kinks and make sure we're delivering the performance users expect," Ohazama says. "We're listening to small businesses and giving them ways to grow."

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